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Newly traveling for project! What hotel points family should I start with for the most benefit? For the time being will be back and forth to DC

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SPG+Delta+Hertz+Lyft

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Don’t disagree with DD1 however a few things to consider: SPG has fewer locations in vicinity of the National Mall. If you are on a federal project you will only be able to book hotels offering the fed rate. More hotels = more likely to not be at the end of a metro line. You probably will be a ways out right away anyway bc of the cherry blossoms. Another thing would be your airline choice and preference for airport. IMO DCA is the best choice. You deplane and jump right on the metro for a short ride. Getting out of town on Thurs is just as easy. For Dulles you’d have to take a bus from the airport to the Metro station and then ride that to wherever you are going. If you are driving/ubering the traffic sucks for both but at DCA you’re just not in it as long. The problem with DCA is that it is way smaller than Dulles and 50% of its departures are AA. I’m a Delta person but they are only 14% of the departures. I switched to AA when I was working in DC.

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United+Marriott+Chase (CSR, CSP, United, Marriott, and/or any other UR-earning card) is a good combo too. Fingers crossed SPG stays will count for lifetime Marriott status at merger. Uber probably is better if you're not Delta.

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I enjoyed my time in DC. There are tons of things to do. I was disappointed that the Smithsonian (is that singular or plural?) closes at 5! I would suggest looking to see if you can book enough SPG to make status then you can switch around since points don’t carry over anymore. If you are per diem a hotel with a concierge lounge is a huge plus. You can eat breakfast for free and I’ve been know. To make a dinner meal out of the snacks on occasion. Also, I would encourage you to book way in advance. Lock in those federal rates whenever they come open. Keep checking back to get better locations if rooms open up at the federal rate. One thing I did since I was on a per firm was to charge up my metro card every week. I didn’t go crazy but I generally recharged for more than I used. That way I could use it for my own travel...ssshhhh, don’t tell anyone. Again, this all assumes a federal project.

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Agree with DD^

Where in DC?

I'm SPG+United+Avis+Uber - because my firm insists on Avis and I prefer Star Alliance (plus the upgrades are better, and I can reserve economy plus at booking). I'm missing out on some points that I would otherwise get with Delta. That said, not sure how next year will pan out, since Marriott is tied to United, and the SPG and Marriott programs are being merged. Call up SPG and do the challenge for Gold at least. Gets you the same points as Platinum, but you get there quicker. I did both concurrently to get more points and more status.

P1 has a lot of valid points. His scenario is essentially why I switched from AA to Delta, had an Atlanta project. I found their service to be so much better on the routes I take (Chicago/Milwaukee based) that I switched to them permanently including the points. I was able to make AA plat last year as I was already at Delta gold and wouldn't make platinum, so I have 1 more year of some status. I will say the only thing that would get me to United/Star Alliance is if I was on a long-term Germany engagement, because I love Lufthansa.

Thanks all! Won't need a car so that's out for now which is great. Will be primarily flying into DCA as project is located in SW and American is a hub near me as well. Sounds like Marriott/SPG is the way to go for now?

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Very helpful thank you all

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